The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Hideous Teachers

An article by Chris Osmond about David Foster Wallace as a teacher, Hideous Teachers:

As a seminar teacher, he was apparently astounding. There’s a whole cache of internet stuff out there from previous students who reflect on his generosity and intense focus on the quality of their expressions, their engagement with ideas. He completely shunned any reference to his monolithic status as voice of a generation, the post-pomo wunderkind, the Genius Grant recipient and official Next Big Thing, maintaining that he was to be “Dave” and talk about their work, not his. I cannot yet find evidence of anything else anywhere, really: his RateMyProfessors profile (cursed artifact of these panoptic times) has been pulled, of course, but it was reported to concur, in the bald terms that platform always invites (“one of the best teachers I’ve ever had,” “tough as shit and can hurt students’ feelings,” “very neurotic and tends to chew tobacco and spit in a cup while lecturing”).

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The Howling Fantods